Rye Cookie Vanilla Ice Cream

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January still has her chilly ways about her, leaving a trail of warming food cravings behind as each day passes. Ice cream during the wintry season isn’t always wanted when there are cold winds blowing outdoors, but this one is an exception. Chewy rye cookies are baked fresh and crumbled in large chunks into a rich vanilla custard, adding more depth than another cookie would impart, more texture than if vanilla was had alone. Though ice cream is always lovely in balmy weather, I’ll take this one on any frosty evening. The vanilla ice cream custard is enriched with egg yolks whisked with hot cream and milk, lending the silkiest of textures. It then needs to be chilled overnight, making that awaited first scoop after churning the next day even more delicious with anticipation. It holds together better and is less like soft serve if allowed to firm up a bit in the freezer after churning, but I wouldn’t blame you if you stole a spoonful or two right out of the bowl.

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Rye Cookie Vanilla Ice Cream

For the cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cup dark rye flour

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Add the salt, baking soda, and flour and stir until combined.

On two parchment lined baking sheets, place small spoonfuls of the dough so that there are about twelve cookies in total. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. They should seem slightly underdone, not quite dry on the top; they will continue to cook with residual heat after they’ve been taken out and aiming for a chewy texture is key. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then tear into chunks - you should reserve a few cookies whole for snacking later as the ice cream won’t be able to hold all of the cookie pieces from this batch. Set aside the torn cookie pieces in an airtight container until the ice cream recipe notes to fold them into the custard.

For the ice cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla paste

  • 6 egg yolks

In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, salt, vanilla and sugar. While the cream is mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. When the cream is steaming and has reached a temperature of 175 degrees, scoop 1/3 cup of the hot milk and slowly whisk it into the egg yolks (do not skip this step, as pouring all the milk in at once will cause the eggs to curdle with the rapid temperature change). Continuing to whisk, add another 1/3 cup of the hot milk, then a final 1/3 cup. Finally, pour the remainder of the hot milk mixture into the bowl and whisk until completely combined. Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator overnight.

After chilling, churn the custard according to your ice cream machine's directions. Remove from the ice cream machine and place in a freezer-safe container, then gently fold in the rye cookie pieces. For a soft serve consistency, serve immediately. To firm the ice cream, allow to freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight, then serve.